A checkpoint is seen at a bridge leading to the Unist’ot’en camp on a remote logging road near Houston, B.C., on January 17, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

No charges to be laid against 22 pipeline protesters arrested on Wet’suwet’en territory

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Charges will not be laid against the 22 pipeline protesters who were arrested on traditional Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C. in February, the BC Prosecution Service has confirmed.

The protesters were arrested between Feb. 6 and 10 near Houston, sparking solidarity protests across the country.

The prosecution service recommended not laying charges due to lack of violence during the arrests and lack of evidence linking the arrested protesters to damage at a bridge as reasons.

They also mentioned ongoing negotiations between hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs and the B.C. government, to which Crown counsel is not privy.

Arrests were made based on an injunction granted by the B.C. Supreme Court to Coastal GasLink, the proponent trying to build a 670-kilometre liquefied natural gas pipeline through from Dawson Creek to Kitimat, running through traditional Wet’suwet’en territory.

Coastal GasLink has also dropped civil charges against the protesters.

In a Facebook post, the Unist’ot’en (Dark House) Camp said they were relieved the charges were dropped, but vowed to fight on to prevent the pipeline from passing through their territory.

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